Investigator Questions Apparent Suicide of Third of Five Dead Husbands

A sheriff's investigator in Florida says police are re-examining the death of a man who was the third husband of a North Carolina woman with five dead spouses.

Lt. Nancy Alvarez of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday her investigators are trying to find medical records for Richard Sills. Sills was shot to death in the home he shared with his wife, Betty, in Big Coppitt, Fla. in 1965.

At the time, police said he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police said his wife was the only other person in the room.

His wife, now Betty Neumar, hasn't been charged with any crime in Monroe County.

But the 76-year-old was recently charged in North Carolina with one count of solicitation of murder in the 1986 death of her fourth husband, Harold Gentry.

A telephone message left for Neumar's attorney was not returned Tuesday.

: They all had military experience.

Neumar is being held on $500,000 bond in the Stanly County jail. A clerk in the county clerk of courts office said Monday that Neumar does not yet have an attorney. Her daughter with Harold Gentry, who also lives in Augusta, has declined to comment.

Williams said that detectives believe Harold Gentry was Neumar's fourth husband. She and her third husband, Richard "Dick" Sills, were living in the Florida Keys when he was shot to death in 1965, Williams said. At the time, police said his death was the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. But Williams said Neumar was the only person in the room when he died.

After his death, Neumar met Gentry in Florida. The couple married in the late 1960s in Georgia after he retired from the Army and moved to the town of Norwood, about an hour east of Charlotte.

Gentry was found shot to death inside the couple's home on July 14, 1986. Three years later, she married her fifth husband, John Neumar. He died in October, and authorities in Augusta, Ga., are investigating whether his death — officially listed as listed as sepsis, bacterial infection of the body's blood and tissues — might have another cause, such as arsenic poisoning.

Williams said Neumar would wedge herself between family members and her victims to isolate them. She was cold to Gentry's brothers, who spent two decades trying to get the sheriff's department to reopen the case, they said. He was so isolated that his sons say they didn't know he had died until they read his obituary in the newspaper.

"It's heartbreaking," Williams said. "These people were very close and she moved in and stopped him from seeing them. It was really a hard story to hear."

Williams said he's still working to uncover as much as he can about Neumar's first two husbands, both of whom he said were from Ohio. One died in 1952, the other in 1955. He's also trying to piece together her life between her second husband's death and when she married Sills.

"Keep in mind that it appears that after each husband, she moved on. So she could just tell any story she wanted to tell," Williams said. "That's just what happened. She would come up with some pretty wild stories that she told about herself or what happened to her husbands."